DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Daytona Beach police officers have made an arrest in a reported hit-and-run incident that left a young girl seriously injured.
Kenyatta Henry, 23, was taken into custody at a residence on Fulton St. after police said they received calls about a disturbance related to the hit-and-run incident. FOX 35 News has learned that Henry is related to Daytona Beach Mayor Derrick Henry. He's expected to make a first appearance in court on Wednesday.
Roughly two-and-a-half hours before Kenyatta Henry's arrest, officers responded to Halifax Health Medical Center where they learned a toddler was brought to the emergency room after being struck by a car on Forest Lane. The child was stable enough to be taken by helicopter to Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children in Orlando, authorities said.
Officers were able to gather information about the car that was possibly involved in the incident, described as a Black Dodge Charger with factory rims. Several hours later, Daytona Beach police officers found Henry and his car at a home on Fulton St., just a short drive away from where the alleged hit-and-run incident occurred.
Daytona Beach police officers responded to Halifax Health Medical Center just before 2 p.m. on March 21, 2023, where they learned a toddler was brought to the emergency room after being struck by a car on Forest Lane.
Challie Collins tells FOX 35 News he is thankful the man accused of hitting his two-year-old great-niece, Elaya, is in police custody. "I told him, 'Slow down!' you know? Because if he had slowed down, he wouldn't have hit her," he explained.
Collins said Elaya was walking after her father to get into a car outside a home on Forest Lane when Henry failed to come to a stop and drove into her. "He said, 'It's not my fault! It's not my fault!' Yes, it is. You hit her. No, you hit her. It had to be your fault."
Kenyatta Henry, 23, is charged with a hit-and-run resulting in bodily injury.
Records show Henry is known to police and was arrested as recently as November, accused of trying to run from officers. Collins said several of his family members know who he is. Mayor Henry released a statement after learning of the arrest.
"I would like to express my utmost concern for the young child who was injured in the unfortunate incident involving a member of my family earlier today. My entire family's thoughts and prayers are with the child and her family during this difficult time, and I am hopeful for her quick and complete recovery," Mayor Henry said. "I believe that it is imperative that we prioritize the well-being of the child, and I trust that the legal proceedings will be conducted with full transparency and impartiality."
According to her family, Elaya suffered a cracked skull. "Other than that, we're praying that she comes out of this," Collins said. "I'm a true believer that she's going to come out of it."
Henry is charged with a hit-and-run resulting in bodily injury.